Sunday, September 25, 2011

for Grandmother

sunday night and
i am singing to
the water spirits in
my bathwater.

lulling them with
soul music
and thanks.

a flute lulls me
out of the bath
and onto a journey
to meet the grandmother
i know in my dreams.

she breathes
somewhere in dakota lands -- 
where the thunderbirds fly
and black elk once prayed.

one horse shrieks by
on his dappled gray pony.
his heart-seared song becomes 
wind on the plains.

i run wild after its words.
"come to me, brother.
come to me, sister.
speak to me."

they gather near my hands
like appalachian fireflies.
whispers, so many whispers.
i pull them to my ear.

"tell me your story, little ones,"
and i weep to hear it:

"i search for the buffalo.
where are you?
be the buffalo
so i can find you!"

i cry for the wolf
and howl
for those buried in teeth.
buried in braids.
buried with hatchets
and guns.

and for those never buried
but who inevitably
became the land
that whispers history through
the night air.

mitakuye oisin.

(copyright 2011)

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